If there’s anything to be gathered from new Berlin-based supermarket Original Unverpackt, it’s that consumers care about sustainable packaging options. In their system, home-brought containers are weighed by the market, labeled with their weight, and used to collect groceries. Then, the weight of the containers is subtracted from the weight of the groceries. Standing in utter opposition to the German “banana incident of 2012” this idea is becoming popularized as shoppers become more concerned with their environmental impacts. But is this kind of revolutionary, package free grocery store actually feasible? Not for Catherine Conway, whose similar business plan flopped in 2013.
“If you are trying to counter the modern way of ready-to-assemble food, then you have an uphill climb,” Conway said in an interview with The Guardian.
Perhaps this is a lesson in the need for a middle ground that works for the customers, retailers, and packaging manufacturers.